Having a functional air conditioning system is essential for maintaining a comfortable living environment, especially during the hot summer months. However, as your AC unit ages, you may face a common dilemma: should you continue repairing your AC or invest in an AC replacement? Keep reading as we explore the factors to consider when deciding between repairing and replacing an aging AC system.
Age of the AC Unit
Air conditioning units typically have a life span of around 10-15 years. If your AC is nearing or has surpassed this age range, replacing rather than repairing may be more cost-effective. Older models often operate less efficiently, leading to higher energy bills, and they may require more frequent and costly repairs. In addition, old AC units often use R-22 refrigerant, which is being phased out for environmental reasons.
Efficiency and Energy Consumption
Modern AC units are often far more energy-efficient than older models due to technological advancements. If your unit is consuming a significant amount of power, resulting in high energy bills, this is a strong indication that you should consider replacing it. High-efficiency models, often indicated by a higher SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating, can reduce energy use and costs, making them a financially viable option in the long run.
Frequency and Cost of Repairs
If your AC unit frequently breaks down, requiring regular repairs, this can be a telltale sign that it may be time to replace it. Frequent repairs not only disrupt the comfort of your home but can also be quite costly. You should compare the cost of a new unit against the cost of continued repairs. As a rule of thumb, if the repair costs 50% or more of the cost of a new unit, it’s generally better to replace it.
Quality of Indoor Air
Your AC’s primary function is to regulate the air temperature, but it also impacts indoor air quality. If you notice a significant amount of dust in your home, strange smells when the AC is running, or increased allergy symptoms among the residents, these may be signs of an aging AC system that needs replacement. Modern units have improved air purification features that ensure cleaner, healthier indoor air.
The consistent comfort of your home is a significant factor in deciding whether to repair or replace your AC. If your unit struggles to maintain a comfortable temperature or if there are noticeable hot and cold spots around your home, these indicate that your AC system is unable to distribute air evenly. An HVAC professional can investigate the problem and advise whether to repair or replace the unit.
Availability of Parts
As AC units age, some parts become hard to find, making repairs more difficult and expensive. If your unit requires a part that’s out of production or hard to find, replacing the unit may be more practical. Modern AC units have readily available parts, making future repairs easier and cheaper.
Air conditioning units should operate with relative silence; any unusual noises can indicate a potential issue. However, these noises often signal repairable problems rather than requiring a complete unit replacement. For instance, a squealing noise might suggest a belt has slipped out of place, or a metal component needs lubrication. A buzzing noise could be a sign of an electrical issue. However, if these issues persist or repair costs become too high, a replacement would be a more cost-effective and efficient solution.
AC Performance in Your Climate
The climate in your area affects the strain and workload on your AC unit. In hotter regions, AC units have to work harder and therefore have a shorter life span. If you live in a warm climate and your AC is struggling to keep up, even with repairs, it may be time to consider a replacement.
Planned Home Improvements
If you’re planning significant home improvements or extensions, your current AC system may not be able to handle the new load. This means you might need to replace your current unit with a system capable of cooling the additional space. Consult an HVAC professional to determine the best option based on your renovation plans.
Get in Touch With HVAC Professionals Today!
Are you caught in a debate between repairing or replacing your AC unit? With several factors at play, it’s understandable that this decision can feel complex and daunting. However, you don’t have to make this decision alone. We are your go-to experts in heating, cooling, and air quality services in Drexel Hill, PA and the surrounding areas. Whether you need a new HVAC system installation, repairs, or maintenance, our skilled technicians are here to provide top-notch service and ensure your indoor comfort. Contact O'Brien Heating & Air Conditioning today, and we’ll send a qualified technician to come and assess your unique situation.